Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.

James Franco Totally Deserves that Book Deal

March 26, 2010 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Publishing

James Franco and Seth Rogen: Friends Forever!

Far be it from me to criticize other people for wanting to write. I like writing. I like reading. I like people to write good things that I can read, and I hope that I can return the favor every once in awhile with my own writing.

However, there comes a point when writing is so egregiously bad, that an intervention must be staged. Such is the case with James Franco.

Now, I have always had a soft spot for Franco. I’m pulling for the guy. He seems like a good guy, he’s a hell of an actor, and I love that he does whatever the fuck he wants to do. We need more actors like him out there, unconcerned with climbing the weird Hollywood ladder in which starring in a Roland Emmerich movie is the pinnacle of success. I love that he took a role on General Hospital, just because he could. And I love that he put his career on hold for awhile to get an MFA in writing from Columbia. That is a very respectable, decent thing to do if you are interested in pursuing a career as a writer.

Franco is still in college, but unlike most people who are still pursuing their MFAs, he already has a book deal with Scribner. Because he has an amazing agent. Because he is James Franco. See how that works? But no snark: I’m still pulling for you. We all use our connections to get what we want. And if I had as many connections as James Franco, you can bet to fuck that I’d have the best agent in the world.

But here’s the thing: if the story he just published in Esquire magazine is any indication, James Franco does not deserve to have a book deal. I have no problem with someone using his celebrity to publish a book if he has worked his ass off and learned how to be a writer. But here’s a bit of cold reality that your friends and family and book agent-with-comical-dollar-signs-in-his-eyes will not tell you, Franco: you are not ready. Maybe if you keep writing for a few years, you’ll hone your craft. You are clearly not without ability. But you need more guidance than people seem willing to give you, and you need it NOW.

Since apparently Scribner cannot afford to hire editors, and apparently Columbia’s MFA program does not offer much instruction, here are a few tips from a guy who’s managed to successfully make ALMOST MORE THAN $20,000 PER YEAR for at least 5 years now. In other words: a professional. (more…)